Andrew Atkinson Humphreys papers

This collection documents all aspects of Andrew Atkinson Humphreys's career in the United States Army and Topographical Corps of Engineers, as well as some aspects of his personal life and family history. A.A. Humphreys's papers are arranged into eleven series, most of which focus on his...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Humphreys, A.A. (Andrew Atkinson) 1810-1883. (Creator)
Collection:Andrew Atkinson Humphreys Papers
Collection Number:0304
Format: Manuscript
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Online Access:Link to finding aid
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Item Description: Materials Separated from the Resource: A fairly large group of material was separated from the collection because it was deemed to have been erroneously included in the A.A. Humphreys papers during an earlier rehousing project. These papers consist of petitions and correspondence to the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives, receipts and correspondence addressed to Levi Hollingsworth and Sons, correspondence addressed to Edward Armstrong, and invitations addressed to James T. Mitchell. These materials have been flagged for processing at a later date.
Processing Information: This collection was processed using guidelines set out in the "More Product, Less Process" approach to archival processing. Given the scope of this collection, it could benefit from further processing at a later date.
Physical Description: 69.0 Linear feet 120 boxes, 76 volumes, 15 flat files
Access: This collection is open for research.
Summary: This collection documents all aspects of Andrew Atkinson Humphreys's career in the United States Army and Topographical Corps of Engineers, as well as some aspects of his personal life and family history. A.A. Humphreys's papers are arranged into eleven series, most of which focus on his military service. The correspondence and orders in series 1 (1848-1879) represent a mixture of personal and official military documents, which provide a view into Humphreys's work on the Mississippi River survey and his service in the Army of the Potomac under General George Meade. Series 2 contains pamphlets, periodicals, scientific journals, military documents, and newspapers, which cover a wide range of topics, indluding surveying, astronomy, Philadelphia public buildings, military regulations, and the court martial case of Fitz-John Porter. Series 3 (Family papers) offers a minimal perspective on the life of Joshua Humphreys, who designed the U.S.S. Constitution, with a small selection of accounts and papers related to shipping. More significantly represented in series 3 is A. A. Humphreys's son, Henry, who served under his father during the Civil War, and continued on to a military career of his own. Henry H. Humphreys's scrapbooks in boxes 11-14 contain correspondence, clippings, memorabilia concerning the anniversary of the Constitution, and other documents, personal and professional. Series 4 contains maps drafted for maneuvers of the Army of the Potomac. See the General George G. Meade papers for related material. Series 5 (Miscellaneous) contains a small group of papers from Humphreys's personal and professional activities, as well as a scrapbook compiled after his death. Series 6 contains receipts for expenses, payroll, and transportation of goods related to the Sanitary Commission and Fair in Philadelphia. Series 7 (Supplies) offers a perspective on the food and goods consumed by soldiers and officers during the height of the Civil War. This series is mostly comprised of receipts, but there are also reports on food quality and records of rations received. Series 8 documents Humphreys's work with the United States Corps of Topographical Engineers, and includes accounts, correspondence, legislation and reports related to various projects. Series 9 (Volumes) is one of the most comprehensive series in the collection because a significant portion of the manuscript material that would normally have been separated into other series is bound in a group of fifty-seven volumes, which make up the bulk of the series. The majority of these volumes cover the Civil War period, and include several volumes of letters from Humphreys to his wife about the war and daily activities (Volumes 33-34). Volumes 1-32 contain correspondence, both military and personal, arranged chronologically. Volumes 35-55 contain official military correspondence from the Civil War era. Series 10 (Vouchers) is the largest series in the collection, consisting primarily of payment vouchers. Boxes 35-39 contain bounty fund payments; boxes 41-45 contain muster rolls for various regiments; and boxes 46-111 contain muster payrolls, bounty payments, correspondence related to payments and miscellaneous vouchers. The items in the last group of boxes were not sorted because they appeared more interconnected and were difficult to separate into discrete groups. The last series, Writings, contains material for Humphreys's book The Virginia Campaign (boxes 115-117), as well as several hand-written drafts. Also included are drafts and material for Gettysburg to the Rapidan (boxes 117-119) and personal journals (box 119). All materials are arranged chronologically within series.
The papers of Andrew Atkinson Humphreys span the course of Humphreys's career, including his service in the Second Seminole War, his work as a civil engineer on surveys along the U.S. coast and the Mississippi River, as chief of staff for General George Meade; and as head of the United States Corps of Topographical Engineers. The collection consists of correspondence, orders, reports, payment vouchers, ephemera, maps, survey data, drafts and published works. The most significant groups of materials in this collection are documents from the Civil War, including muster rolls, reports, orders, and payment vouchers, which may have been collected when Humphreys served in the Army of the Potomac; and papers related to the survey of the Mississippi River in the 1850s and 1860s. Also of interest are Humphreys's later reflections on the Civil War in his notes and manuscripts for Gettysburg to the Rapidan and The Virginia Campaign. Also included in this collection is a small group of family papers related to the lives and work of Joshua and Henry H. Humphreys.